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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Recording Arts

Majors Overview June 29, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in recording arts and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Programs in Recording Arts

Students enrolled in master’s degree programs in recording arts are taught about audio production and prepared for careers as engineers, producers, or teachers. Armed with the necessary technical knowledge, program graduates can seek employment in the electronic media industry.

The finer points of recording music and vocals are taught through recording arts master’s degree programs. Prospective students can choose from possible degree options such as the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Science (M.S.), or the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Recording Arts. Using advanced software and hardware, non-professional and professional students are taught technical audio-production concepts.

They also learn about ways in which recording arts fits in with related disciplines, including digital animation, computer science, and video production. Degrees are obtainable within 2-3 years by full-time students; working students may choose from a part-time option offered by many schools.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and submit a portfolio that showcases their skill level in recording. While schools encourage applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in a related major, they don’t insist on a bachelor’s degree in the recording arts. While the content of the portfolio can vary according to the school, students are expected to showcase a degree of proficiency in areas such as audio production, audio engineering, music theory and acoustics.


Coursework has a narrow focus on audio production and recording. Students enrolled in most courses are given the opportunity of gaining hands-on experience in real studios. Students in their final year often produce a final project. Core coursework covers topic areas such as:

•Music theory
•Legal issues in recording arts
•Science of Audio
•Recording Acoustics
•Musical instrument digital interface
•Digital and audio recording

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers in the recording industry, choosing from possible job positions such as:

•Television audio producer
•College professor in recording arts
•Audio engineer
•Music producer
•Radio producer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of nine percent has been predicted for broadcast and sound engineering technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same decade, producers and directors are expected to see a three percent job growth. In 2012, producers and directors brought in an average annual wage of $71,350, and sound engineering technicians earned $41,200 per annum, on average (BLS).

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